Matthew Harter


You suck at sandwiches

After standing in line at our campus Subway way too many times, I can confirm that there are too many innocent Italian Herbs and Cheese subs being ruined by a poorly thought out order. Now, I know what you are all thinking: what dimwit has enough time on their hands to comprehensively breakdown the anatomy of a sub to figure out the proper way to construct it? That’d be me.  

The number one rule of making a delicious sandwich is: it always tastes better when someone else makes it. Not really sure about the science behind this, but no one can deny the fact that a massive flavor difference does exist. The people who argue that homemade and store-bought sandwiches taste the same are also the people who think all water tastes identical and that the dress is both black & blue AND gold & white. These people are clearly some advanced model of human-like robots, like the revolutionary Zuckerberg.exe model. I mean, come on; when your wax statue looks more alive than you do, something is undoubtedly wrong.

Alright then, you are now about to start ordering your sandwich. It is hard to go wrong with what you put on a sub. Everyone has their own personal tastes, so this part of the sandwich making process is largely up to you. However, there are four important rules that must be followed if you want your deliciousness factor to be maxed out. Firstly, toast it. Toasting heats up the meat, melts the cheese and crisps the edges of your sandwich. This instantly enhances flavors and adds a satisfying crunch to the sub. Secondly, add your sauces of choice BEFORE adding lettuce or spinach to the situation. If you are putting sauce on a sandwich, odds are you want to taste the sauce. By placing it on top of any lettuce, you are forcing it to the tippy top of the sandwich. This means it will not be in the center of the sandwich where it should be delivering flavor with every bite. Additionally, the sauce will smear all over the top of the sub and wrapper, as well as the sandwich maker’s knife and fingers.  Now you not only have to deal with a flat tire on the road to flavor town, but also the exasperation you caused the worker by making their hands so messy. To avoid this, add the sauce once you have laid down the core elements of the sandwich, like olives, onions, jalapenos, banana peppers and tomatoes. Not only will you get epic flavor with every bite, but you will also receive the coveted drip factor all good sandwiches should have. Only then is it safe to add lettuce and spinach to the equation. Thirdly, don’t be afraid of the seasoning. Salt, pepper and oregano really bring the whole sub to life, intensifying flavor and making you sound sophisticated while ordering. Lastly, make sure you thank each and every one of the employees that helped you out. Making eye contact, flashing a smile and saying a quick thank you lets them know you appreciate them and what they do. 

Well, there you have it. Now you know the fundamentals of sandwich creation. No longer will the employees hate you for getting sauce all over their hands, and no longer will people in line snicker behind your back because you can’t even order a sandwich properly. Now go out and enjoy ordering sandwiches the right way!

Spring Cleaning Basics

Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Spring is approaching. Charlotte’s weather may still have a few curve balls to throw at us, but warm and sunny spring days are just around the corner. A bright 70-something day on campus is hard to beat. Nevertheless, it is important to remember the other official trademark of spring: Spring cleaning! If you are looking for a great way to be productive and boost your mood, paying your dorm some attention is a great way to start. Here are four ways to get your dorm looking and smelling up to snuff.

Change your Linens:
It is easy to get caught up in the flow of school. You have to go to class, complete assignments, and study for quizzes and tests, all the while attempting to keep your personal and social life in balance. Do not let yourself sacrifice basic cleanliness because of this. The general rule of thumb is to change and wash bed sheets and bath towels once every week. By doing this, you allow your comforter and mattress to breath, as well as preventing foul odors from accumulating.

Line and empty trash when needed:
Let’s get this straight: Allowing garbage to accumulate for weeks on end is nothing short of a war crime against your nose. Making sure to empty your trash when it is full or foul-smelling will significantly cut back on the unholy stank emulating from under your doorway. The best way to make emptying your trash can a breeze is by lining it with trash bags. This helps keep all your trash in one place and additionally prevents trash-juice from forming at the bottom of your bin. In some cases, purchasing a lid for your trash can may be necessary. (Pro-Tip: Putting food scraps directly into your dorm’s trash room instead of in your dorm room will eliminate the most offensive trash can odors).

Photo courtesy of Flickr

Bathroom Essentials:
For those of you in Niner Nation fortunate enough to have a personal bathroom, this is for you. As Uncle Ben once said, “With power comes great responsibility.” For those you with personal bathrooms, it translates roughly to “Don’t let what you’re doing in the bathroom be cleaner than the bathroom itself.” Seriously, if your feet are sticking to the floor when you walk in, or the shower has turned from a pearly white to a used-tissue green, arm yourself with some gloves and some cleaner and lay siege to that nastiness. Any major brand shower cleaner from Walmart or Target will get you shower back in shape. Dollar store multi-purpose cleaner is a sure bet for dealing with countertops and toilets. This should be done weekly.

Cleaning Staples:
I’m talking about the fundamental principles of cleaning here: putting laundry in the laundry basket, not leaving food out to rot, cleaning out your microwave (as well as staying away from microwaving strong smelling foods such as seafood and popcorn), vacuuming your floor and rugs at the very least once a month, and occasionally opening your window to air your room out. If you only take away one thing from this article, make it these fundamental cleaning principles. The beauty of these basic cleaning activities is in their simplicity. Everything I just listed is doable in under 15 minutes, and will fix your dorm situation in a jiffy.

If you follow these simple steps, you will be well on your way to looking and feeling like a champ. Coming back to a clean and pleasant dorm after a stressful and confusing day is almost as nice as the approaching spring weather. Good luck on your cleaning journey!

Photo courtesy of Flickr